We are delighted to announce that ROWLANDS GILL PRIMARY SCHOOL, Tyne & Wear, is from 2011 going to link up with NARAYANI PRIMARY SCHOOL.
Shree Narayani Primary School, gets it’s name from the great river which flows past just a few miles south.
The Narayani River combines the Trisuli, Kali Gandaki and Marsyandi Rivers that drain central Nepal, even drawing waters from Tibet and the catchment includes Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and the Langtang Himalaya. The school is also just a mile or so from the boundary of the Chitawan National Park, home to wild tigers and rhino.
Tul Bahadur Tsapa(left), Chairman of Management Committee, Chris Dickinson, Chairman of Nepal Schools Trust (centre) and Resham Bahadur Ranabhat, Principal, (right) during a visit in November 2010.
This is a government Primary School with 200 students currently, and classes from Nursery through Kindergarten and Primary 1-5. “Government” in Nepal means partly funded and so most building initatives are only partly supported by government and teaching complement likewise. Communities have to make efforts to raise funds to fill the gap in funding. The catchment for this school is a poor Dalit (low caste, untouchable) community who do genuinely find it difficult to raise funds or have political influence to effect the same. As you can see some of the classes do not yet even have furniture, something we wish to change in due course. We are also working with this school to link them to resources from Books Abroad, the Scottish Charity that helps sends books to poor countries.
Narayani has a particular problem with a 19 year old building that was on a poor foundation and is really no longer safe or suitable. The school and we have concerns that in a quake this building could collapse, or it may be taken down by monsoon rains. The building is currently used for Primary 1, 2 and 3 classes. Perhaps after demolition the site can be re-used.
Kids at this school even get fed twice a week as they come from such poor families. This is the only school in our area that does this and a local company provides the funds.
This view shows a new foundation completed by the school. They managed this by diverting funds granted by the education department for toilet improvements to the more pressing need for a new building. We observed all this and agreed with their need and Chris wrote to the school in December 2010, as follows:
“We note that the school wishes to complete a new building, for which you have a foundation. Obviously this is a large project. Nepal Schools Trust is prepared to search for funding from UK charities on the school’s behalf. We cannot promise that we will be successful, but we are very happy to try this for you.
In any case I will give priority in 2011 to helping you with this project.
To build a new school building, the school will need to seek funding also from the Education Office, VDC , NGOs and from within the community. Thank you for supplying a set of plans and costs for the project, which we understand to be a single storey 3 classroom block at a cost of approximately 500,000 Rs.” (Note, this sum is equivalent to approximately £4550 at current exchange rates)
Chris is committed to finidng funding for this school during 2011 and we are pleased to announce that Claire Browne and Dave McCraw who are shortly to be married, have offered to raise funds for Nepal Schools Trust and Narayani Primary School in particular in lieu of wedding gifts. Many many thanks to them and any friends or family who support them in this wonderful gesture.